Wednesday, July 24, 2019

RC2019/03 -- Results & Transitions...

I've been doing a 'less than stellar' job on the last few RetroChallenge events. I could make excuses involving aging teenagers, demanding work schedules, etc. But in any case, I just have not been able to make RetroChallenge a priority for a while...


But first things first -- let's screw the cap on the last event, before we officially move on to whatever is next.

As is customary, I would like to acknowledge a few "winners" (in no particular order):
  • Tom Raidna
  • Abraham Vreugdenhil
  • RaphaĆ«l Assenat
And also, a few "honorable mentions":
  • Richard Loxley
  • Mark Sherman
  • Brandon Blodget
I would also like to offer "special recognition" to 'qguv and utz' and to Marcel van Kervinck. I'm pretty sure that these are two great projects, but I'm not sure that I ever could really wrap my head around them -- that is probably "just me". Nevertheless...good work, and thanks for sharing your projects with us!

I apologize to the "winners", as I have no prizes lined-up for them. I'll owe you a beer (or similar beverage or other tasty treat), should we ever meet in person. I'm not _that_ hard to find, if you are desperate to claim your prize... :-)

Moving On

So with that, I officially proclaim RC2019/03 closed. The next event had been christened as RC2019/09 and scheduled for September. Whether or not that plan remains intact will depend on someone else, as I have decided to withdraw from my role as an organizer of this event. September or not, I'm fairly certain that RetroChallenge events will continue -- so watch this space, and monitor the @RetroChallenge Twitter feed!

I have asked Michael Mulhern to take the reigns, and he has agreed to do so. Whether or not Michael accepts some help from the VCF folks or anyone else will be up to him. I definitely wish him (and/or his successors) well, and I will offer whatever aide and support that seems appropriate. Anyway, hopefully we will be hearing more soon...

RetroChallenge Forever

Until then, get to cleaning your soldering tools, organizing your parts bins, and planning your code. How else will you make a good showing at the next RetroChallenge?

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

RC2019/03 -- Judging Begins

March has passed and April is here. Our month of retro-frivolity is over! Once again, real-life intruded on me enough to keep my project from flourishing. However, many of our competitors saw much more success than I did...

Still A Bit Longer

Even though I sometimes need some help with judging, I always try to ensure that someone comments appropriately on every entry. Competitors are sharing a bit of themselves and of their time by participating, and everyone deserves some attention and a bit of feedback. I hope that everyone can appreciate that this takes time and consideration over a few days. The half-time report came quicker than usual this time, so let's all hope to see that streak continue!

End Of Summer

I know that some of you will drift away after reading this, so let me go ahead and remind everyone that the next scheduled RetroChallenge event will happen in September of this year. I know that the schedule has moved around a bit over the past few events, but I think that we are all settled-in to the April-September groove well enough for now. So if you can't be bothered to wait for the RC2019/03 results, then check back here in time for the September event. We should be collecting entries for RC2019/09 starting in August!

As for the final results from RC2019/03 -- stay tuned!

Monday, March 25, 2019

RC2019/03 -- Halftime Report

Ok, it's 10 days past "half" time...but this is better than nothing, right? :-)

Comments In Blue

To see the judge's comments, go to the entrants page. I have added my comments in blue text. I don't think I've been too critical, or stepped on anyone's toes, but sometimes it can be hard to tell for sure -- no offense intended! Please presume that at worst, I might be poking a little fun. But honestly, for the most part there are great projects which deserve nothing but good things to say.

If you do feel the need to reply, then send me an email. I'm happy to add your rebuttal!

Back To Work

So anyway, enjoy the respite while you consider my thoughts on your project and take a moment to look at your competitor's projects as well. There is some great fun and amusement to be had. But honestly, no project feels as good as a finished project -- are you done? If not, then you've got (almost) one more week...get busy!

Friday, March 22, 2019

RC2019/03 -- one more week!

Tick, tock -- time marches on! Before long, the month of March will be over, and the midpoint is well past already. I'm looking at the entries for the halftime progress, and I know Michai is looking too. Hopefully we can get a halftime report out before too long.

Meanwhile, the competitors are continuing their projects and having lots of fun. That's really the point -- little of practical use comes from Retrochallenge, other than the joy that gets sparked in both the competitors and the observers. So do take a chance to review the entries, make comments, tell your nerdy friends, etc! Make a party out of the spectacle.

As of now, there is one week and the following weekend remaining for the competition. In many cases, that could be enough time for a complete project! In other cases, it may just be enough time to document your progress and withdraw with a little dignity...but honestly, if you entered this event, then dignity can't be much of a priority...

Alright, here ends this interruption. Get back to your projects, do your best, and make us all proud!!

Thursday, February 28, 2019

RC2019/03 is a go!

The last day of February is slipping away, which means that March is now upon us. It's time for the next RetroChallenge event to get underway!


If you haven't already done so, take a look at our list of RetroChallengers for this round. We have a mix of oldtimers and new faces, and a nice mix of proposed projects. In the list you will see restoration projects, new games for retro platforms, computer hardware projects, and even a robot arm! This should be another great round of RetroChallenge. Remember, the only way to lose at RetroChallenge is not to play at all...

So, browse the list of competitors and their projects, check-out their blog sites, and add your favorites to your list of daily websites to browse. I have a feeling that this group of latter day retro nerds, boffins, and geeks are going to provide some great entertainment for all, and maybe even some retro inspiration for a few...

Which one will be your favorite? Can they hold your attention through the end of March? Will they win a prize? Will the prize be worth the blood, sweat, and tears? (Probably not!)

If any of this inspires you to sponsor a prize, please reach out to me. But, prizes or not, I really hope that everyone will enjoy what is coming in the next month. Just remember...

Stay tuned!

Monday, February 4, 2019

RC2019/03 -- Open for Entrants!

It's about that time of year again! Who is ready for another round of RetroChallenge?!?!?!

Entries Accepted

If you plan to join us in the RC2019/03 competition, now is the time to make yourself known. Feel free to refer to our "RetroChallenge Rules" page for reminders, but the basics are "do something interesting with an old computer, and blog about it for month". Please note that microcontrollers now qualify under similar conditions to video game consoles (i.e. made in the previous century).

Whatever you are going to do, please send me an email describing:
  1. Your name (or alias);
  2. Your picture (or I'll find something online);
  3. Your Twitter handle (if applicable);
  4. Your blog location (for project updates); and
  5. A brief synopsis of your project.
I will produce an entrants list that looks a bit like the one from RC2018/09, so use that as a guide for the level of information needed. Please send the information requested above to me via email to linville at tuxdriver dot com -- figuring-out how to decode that address is your first test...

Get Things Rolling!

Well, then, that's all for now -- just about 3.5 weeks until the start of the competition! Currently I do not have any prize donations to announce, but I am hopeful as always that our retro-oriented friends will come through with some great prize offerings. Don't worry! Remember, the competition is it's own reward... :-)

Anyway, get your entry to me, order your parts, and make any necessary preparations. March will soon be here!

Sunday, October 21, 2018

RC2018/09 -- Results!

All doubts aside -- we now have results to announce for the RC2018/09 event!


Many thanks are due to Michai Ramakers for his assistance with the judging. Michai is primarily responsible for the comments on the projects for RC2018/09, leaving me to handle the clerical work and to render the final judgments. Without Michai's help, this round's results would likely be even more delayed -- no one would want that!

So, with no further ado...the winners that I have selected for RC2018/09 are (in no particular order):

  • Cole Johnson
  • Pim van Tend
  • Mats Engstrom
I felt that these projects were the best in this round at demonstrating technical skill while also providing useful and entertaining presentation of each projects progress. Well done!


I am offering lightly used copies the following three books from my own collection as tokens of appreciation to the Winners listed above:
If you are a winner, please contact me (linville at tuxdriver dot com) with your delivery address and your book preferences in numbered order, ASAP. Hopefully that gets the books to those that will want to read them...

Honorable Mentions
  • Tom Raidna
  • Raphael Assenat
  • Davy Mitchell
In addition to the prize winners, I felt it necessary to name a few in the "honorable mention" category. Honestly, there were a lot of great projects this time around. There were also remarkably few drop-outs (other than me) -- great effort all around!


If you haven't had a chance yet, then please go check-out the entrants list to see the comments from Michai (and a few from me). Really, this was a great round of RetroChallenge. Was it the best round ever? Maybe, or maybe not. The next round will be RC2019/03 in March -- I guess you'll just have to stay tuned...